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U.S. names Iran's central bank head 'specially designated global terrorist'

U.S. names Iran's central bank head 'specially designated global terrorist'

The U.S. said it would also sanction Seif; they are secondary sanctions, which means if someone does business with him, they could be cut off from the U.S. financial system, the Associated Press pointed out.

Also named as terrorists in the Treasury release are Aras Habib, the chairman of Al-Bilad Islamic Bank in Iraq; and Muhammad Qasir, a Hezbollah official, both for their role in funneling IRGC money to Hezbollah. The following November 5, further sanctions will be reimposed on persons "knowingly engaging in certain significant transactions" with the Iranian central bank.

Bank governor Valiollah Seif is accused of allowing funds to be transferred to Lebanon's Hezbollah movement from Iran's central bank, with Iraq's al-Bilad Islamic Bank acting as an intermediary. The sanctions targeting Iran's central bank executives are some of the first actions by Trump's administration since pulling out of the deal to start ramping up that economic pressure. On this case, the US selected to additionally impose "secondary sanctions", which additionally apply to non-Individuals and non-U.S. firms.

Typically, when the USA punishes individuals with sanctions, it prohibits Americans or US companies from doing business with them. The exchange system worked with Iran's central bank, and the Treasury Department said Tuesday's actions were a continuation of attempts to disrupt it.

"This will make it near impossible" for Iran to do business with other foreign banks, Farhad Alavi, a partner at Akrivis Law Group in Washington and an expert in US sanctions, said of Tuesday's move. Seif often visits Washington to attend conferences of the Worldwide Financial Fund.

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The US Treasury Department on Tuesday named Valiollah Seif, Iran's central bank governor, and Ali Tarzali, the assistant director of the worldwide department at the central bank of Iran, as "specially designated global terrorists" for allegedly assisting Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force in funnelling millions of dollars to support Hezbollah, the Tehran-backed Lebanese group.

Iran's foreign minister had said last week that the nation will not renegotiate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

He has helped information Iran's financial system by way of the net of earlier sanctions positioned on that nation. Any transactions that involve his signature could potentially run afoul of the sanctions, creating a strong deterrent to foreign governments or businesses considering transactions involving Iran's central bank. Still, the USA said it was imposing "secondary sanctions" on the Iranian bank officials, which could significantly increase Iran's isolation from the global financial system.

In a 2016 assembly of the Council on International Relation in Washington, Seif mentioned Iran achieved "virtually nothing" from the deal. Hezbollah and Iran are helping to prop up the Assad regime in its civil war.

The U.S. sanctions imposed Tuesday were expected to be followed by additional ones in coming weeks. And in 2015, the USA targeted the governor of Syria's central bank.